Did you hit your production goals for 2012 or did you fall short? While many real estate agents set long-term goals, they often fall to fulfill the simple daily actions that will allow them to achieve those goals.

When it comes to winning at real estate, a great analogy comes from the game of golf: "Drive for show and putt for dough." In other words, your drive from the tee may look impressive, but the game is won on the putting green.

Did you hit your production goals for 2012 or did you fall short? While many real estate agents set long-term goals, they often fall to fulfill the simple daily actions that will allow them to achieve those goals.

When it comes to winning at real estate, a great analogy comes from the game of golf: "Drive for show and putt for dough." In other words, your drive from the tee may look impressive, but the game is won on the putting green.

In the game of real estate, one’s long-term goals look impressive, they’re exciting, and they can be highly motivating. The game is won, however, with the extra practice necessary to master your scripts and dialogues, to know the inventory better than your competitors, and to consistently prospect day in and day out, even when you don’t feel like doing it.

A wonderful illustration of this point comes from a study by the Keller Institute at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. The study showed that 12 hours of cold calling consistently yields one closed deal.

Yet all 134 agents in the original study quit calling at 11 hours — one hour short of reaching the 12-hour goal. In other words, they weren’t willing to practice the short game of doing one call after another until they generated their next lead. It’s this difference in persistence and discipline that results in huge differences in your production levels.

What’s blocking you?

The second component in winning at real estate is your mindset. In fact, it’s the one common block that almost all agents share.

I was recently working with two top producers who were setting their production goals for 2013. Both of them had great years in 2012.

One had his best year ever and wanted to make sure he could hit the same income in 2013. The other had a strong year as well, but wanted to hit the production numbers she had back in her best years in 2006 and 2007. When I asked each of them to set those goals 33 percent higher, both of them immediately pushed back, saying, "I couldn’t possibly do that!"

Change your mindset, change your results

What makes changing your mindset so difficult is that the assumptions blocking you are often buried so deeply that you are not aware of them. For example, you are competing with the top agent in your area for a listing. Your mindset says, "I’m not the top agent so I could never get this listing."

I remember doing an "up or out" training that was designed to help agents who were struggling. They either had to improve their production or leave the company. One of the agents, who looked more like a bag lady than a luxury real estate agent, was competing against the Beverly Hills and the Malibu estate directors for a major movie star’s multimillion-dollar Malibu listing.

There were two things that allowed her to obtain the listing. First, she took the time to master the "rate of absorption" listing dialogues and to provide a detailed market analysis that included how quickly properties were selling, where the market was trending, as well as the probability of selling at various price points. This is an example of the "short game" — the little, extra details that make the difference between winning and losing.

Second, she didn’t let the fact that she was competing with the big guns stop her from doing her best. As it turned out, the listing presentation was with the star’s business manager who was a numbers person. The agent’s numbers-based approach was much more important to his decision as opposed to having the big-name agents who hadn’t bothered with this extra step.

To change your current mindset, look for the one extra thing you could do each day to master a new script, know the inventory a little bit better, or take a step to be better organized. It’s these little incremental steps taken on a consistent basis that result in major shifts.

Also, instead of putting preconceived limits on what you could do (for example, increasing your income 33 percent, as in the example above), take the necessary steps to see what that increase would look like broken down into daily steps.

To illustrate how this would work, assume that you currently close 30 transactions per year and you would like to close 40 transactions in 2013. That would mean closing one extra transaction every five weeks.

Next, examine your current production and identify where each of your leads for your closed deals originated. Assume that you closed the most deals from referrals from your sphere of influence. What steps could you take to be in better communication with your sphere of influence every single day? Make a list of what you could do. For example:

1. Comment on five of my friends’ Facebook profile pages five days a week.

2. Contact five members of my sphere of influence every day by telephone, text or email with an article, tip or recommendation that they may find to be of interest.

3. Spend more time volunteering at my child’s school where I am generating 40 percent of my current leads.

The money in real estate, as in golf, is in these small, consistent steps taken over time. Take a moment right now to ask yourself, "What is one small step I can take every single today that will put me closer to having my best year ever in 2013?" Now go do it!

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